Travelers to Vietnam warned
The nation’s chief consumer protection regulator yesterday reminded those planning to go to Vietnam of the country’s prohibition against religious gatherings, except for Buddhist, Catholic and Christian religious ceremonies. The Consumer Protection Commission official said that although Taiwan shares similar beliefs with Vietnam, the latter is a communist country that restricts assemblies. In Vietnam, those planning to hold a gathering or event related to religious missionary work must obtain the permission of the authorities, the official said, citing a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The official warned travelers against joining unapproved religious activities in Vietnam, which maintains no diplomatic ties with Taiwan, to avoid possible trouble and financial losses. The official reminded travelers that Vietnam has been affected by avian influenza outbreaks since December 2004.
New York exhibition planned
The cultural division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York is set to host a “Taiwan handicraft and style” exhibition from Wednesday to June 30. Eight Taiwanese handicraft artists and modern designers will be collaborating to display 20 of their works at the exhibition. Traditional handicraft techniques, such as bamboo weaving, snake pottery and blue dyeing, have been combined with modern design concepts to produce the works, which include electric fans, computer carrying cases, furniture and kitchenware. The exhibition is jointly organized by the National Taiwan Craft Research Institute and the Taiwan Design Center. The creations will also be displayed during the “Passport to Taiwan” festival in New York City on May 25 and at the International Immigrants Foundation Expo-Fest in Manhattan on June 15.
TV stations face lawsuit
Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) threatened yesterday to take two cable news stations to court if the station managers and reporters refused to apologize for their allegations that he misused his special allowance on personal items during his stint as the head of the National Palace Museum in 2002. “The two television stations aired the segment without first verifying the facts. Their erroneous claims have tarnished Minister Tu’s reputation,” a Ministry of Education press release said. On Friday, the two stations claimed prosecutors had discovered that some of Tu’s reimbursement receipts from his time as the museum director included personal items, such as women’s jewelry, a suit and even party expenses accrued by his son. Tu reportedly claimed the jewelry was not for his wife, but for a female Austrian museum director.
Contest dates announced
Registration is now open until May 23 for anyone interested in competing in the fourth annual “National English Spelling Bee Contest,” the Sayling Wen Cultural and Education Foundation said yesterday. Regional competitions will be held on May 31, June 7, June 14, June 22 and June 28 in Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taipei and Taoyuan. The final competition will be held on Aug. 8 in Taipei. Registration is free and open to all elementary, junior high school and high school students. This year the overall winner in each category will receive a NT$80,000 package to study abroad or NT$30,000 in cash. For further information, visit www.saylingwen.com.